Domonic Brown is, in a way, an insurance policy for the Phillies if they are unable to resign Jayson Werth this winter.  It’s pretty safe to say that the 22-year-old is quite the safety net.

He dominated in Double-A with a .315 average, 15 HR, 47 RBI, 50 R, and 12 SB.  Then, in his new challenge of Triple-A, he has hit .429 with two HR in eight games.

Drafted in the 20th round in the 2006 draft, Brown has slowly progressed through the Phillies farm system. There had previously been concerns about his eye at the plate, but that no longer appears to be an issue. At Double-A this season, he struck out 51 times, good for a 21.6 percent strikeout rate. Couple that with a 10.9 percent walk rate and all that power, it’s more than acceptable.

Scouts talk about five-tool ability and Brown is certainly flashing them all this season with the power being the last thing that seems to be coming around.  He has stolen over 20 bases each of the past two seasons and appears to be well on his way to accomplishing that again.

As for the power, he’s been adding fly balls each year as he grows into his 6′5″ frame:

  • 2008-28.8%
  • 2009-37.5%
  • 2010-41.0% (while playing for Double-A only)

It’s not a surprise that the extra fly balls have led to more power, something that should continue. He’s a big kid and he’s just going to continue to mature and learn to hit the ball over the fences. Just look at what Baseball America, who ranked him as the Phillies top prospects each of the past two seasons, had to say:

“His buggy-whip swing and growing strength give him plus raw power and he’s starting to translate it into production. He has the bat speed and strength to drive mistakes and take advantage when he’s ahead in the count. Brown’s other tools grade out as well or better than his bat.”

While he may not develop into a 35-40 home run guy, he certainly seems to have the talent to be 25/20 at worst.  With the possibility he turns into something even more, fantasy owners have to be drooling.

If injuries continue to cripple the Phillies in 2010 or if Raul Ibanez continues to struggle, it’s possible that he sees time this season (especially if they are fading late), but more likely he gets a September call up to get his feet wet.  Chances are he doesn’t get his real chance until 2011, when he will immediately be a must use fantasy option.

What are your thoughts on Brown? How good do you think he’ll be? Will he be a must use option next season?

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